UPDATE: Contract extension for Hanley Ramirez not imminent after all

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UPDATE: Hanley Ramirez’s agent tells Ken Gurnick of MLB.com that his client posted the photo on Instagram as a joke and was actually flying to the Dominican Republic. In other words, a contract extension is not imminent. Hey, at least we know that Ramirez has an interesting sense of humor.

11:01 a.m. ET: Hanley Ramirez told Dionisio Soldevila of ESPN Deportes last Friday that he was working on a contract extension with the Dodgers. And if this post to Ramirez’s Instagram account from last night is any indication, it could be a done deal in the very near future:

source:  Ramirez, who turns 30 later this month, has one year and $16 million remaining on the six-year, $70 million extension he signed with the Marlins back in May 2008. While injuries limited him to 86 games this past season, he was a monster when healthy, batting .345/.402/.638 with 20 home runs and 57 RBI. That was good enough for him to finish eighth in the National League MVP balloting. Ramirez has made it clear that he wants to stay with the Dodgers, but it’s going to cost them big-time.

Thanks to Mike Petriello of Mike Scioscia’s Tragic Illness for the heads-up on the Instagram post. For what it’s worth, he’s thinking that an extension for Ramirez could be in the six-year, $100-120 million range.

Pitch clock cut minor league games by 25 minutes to 2:38

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NEW YORK — Use of pitch clocks cut the average time of minor league games by 25 minutes this year, a reduction Major League Baseball hopes is replicated when the devices are installed in the big leagues next season.

The average time of minor league games dropped to 2 hours, 38 minutes in the season that ended Wednesday, according to the commissioner’s office. That was down from 3:03 during the 2021 season.

Clocks at Triple-A were set at 14 seconds with no runners on base and 19 with runners. At lower levels, the clocks were at 18 seconds with runners.

Big league nine-inning games are averaging 3:04 this season.

MLB announced on Sept. 9 that clocks will be introduced in the major leagues next year at 15 seconds with no runners and 20 seconds with runners, a decision opposed by the players’ association.

Pitchers are penalized a ball for violating the clock. In the minors, violations decreased from an average of 1.73 per game in the second week to 0.41 in week 24.

There will be a limit of two pickoff attempts or stepoffs per plate appearance, a rule that also was part of the minor league experiment this season. A third pickoff throw that is not successful would result in a balk.

Stolen bases increased to an average of 2.81 per game from 2.23 in the minors this year and the success rate rose to 78% from 68%.

Many offensive measurements were relatively stable: runs per team per game increased to 5.13 from 5.11 and batting average to .249 from .247.

Plate appearances resulting in home runs dropped to 2.7% from 2.8%, strikeouts declined to 24.4% from 25.4% and walks rose to 10.5% from 10.2%. Hit batters remained at 1.6%.